OAKLAND (BCN) — A fellow police officer testified today that Hayward police Sgt. Scott Lunger appeared to know that something bad would happen shortly before a suspect fatally shot him during an early morning traffic stop two years ago.
Taking the witness stand in the preliminary hearing for 22-year-old Mark Estrada, who is charged with murder and three special circumstances clauses for the shooting near Myrtle and Lion streets in Hayward at about 3:15 a.m. on July 22, 2015, Officer Justin Green said Lunger, 48, said, “Whoa, whoa, whoa!” just before a suspect in a white Chevrolet Silverado truck shot him.
Green, who had just arrived at the scene to provide backup to Lunger, a 15-year Hayward police veteran who lived in Brentwood, said, “I knew he (Lunger) saw something that was not good.”
Green said Lunger had broadcast on the police radio that he was stopping the truck because it was being driven erratically. He said he believed it was the same truck he had heard doing donuts in that same area a few moments earlier.
Green said after he heard Lunger’s comments, “I came up as fast as I could and I heard a gunshot from the truck.”
Green testified that he fired multiple rounds into the truck but the suspect, later identified by police as Estrada, managed to drive away.
Green said that he ran up to Lunger but Lunger had blood on his head, didn’t seem to have a pulse and wasn’t responsive.
Police said Lunger was transported to Eden Medical Center in Castro Valley but was pronounced dead a short time later.
Hayward police Officer Robert Purnell wrote in a probable cause statement that Estrada abandoned his truck at 98th and Edes avenues in East Oakland and later walked into San Leandro Hospital to be treated for his gunshot wounds.
Authorities contacted Estrada at San Leandro Hospital but eventually moved him to Highland Hospital in Oakland to be treated for a gunshot wound to his left lower flank above his waist.
Estrada admitted to a doctor that he was shot while he was in the driver’s seat of his vehicle near A Street in Hayward but wouldn’t say who had shot him, Purnell wrote.
When police searched the crime scene, they found a 9mm handgun, unexpended rounds and an associated magazine, according to the probable cause statement.
Purnell wrote that during a search of Estrada’s residence in the area of 107th Avenue and Beverly Street in East Oakland, investigators found 9mm ammunition, 9mm casings and surveillance video that showed three people arriving at the house at 4:48 a.m. on July 22, 2015, one of whom was limping.
Purnell said the suspect’s vehicle had bullet holes on the driver’s side consistent with the bullets that were fired by the officer who was with Lunger.
Estrada’s preliminary hearing, which will determine if there’s enough evidence for him to stand trial and is expected to last about three days, was packed today with Lunger’s family members, Hayward police officers and a large contingent of Estrada’s family members and friends.
The special circumstance allegations against Estrada are for murder of a peace officer during the course of his duties, committing a murder while lying in wait and committing a murder by discharging a firearm from a motor vehicle.